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Hitachi Plasma Warranty Support - boo!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by english_bob, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. english_bob

    english_bob
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    "I have learned a great deal from listening carefully" Ernest Hemingway, and quote on the Hitachi Support website.

    Last September, I fufilled an ambition of owning a big screen and invested most of my savings into buying an Hitachi Plasma, a 42PMA400E. A lot of money, 2,600 big ones (not including stand of course!).

    After 5 months of use on a very very low contrast and brightness setting (for those in the "know", Contrast is +18 and Brigtness +2, well below the Life extend pre-sets) for around an average of an hour a day, it got its first dead pixel! A week later, a 2nd one appeared.

    The dead pixels appeared at the bottom-middle and top-left of the screen. I contacted my supplier. Suggested that I wait to see what happens in the next few months before calling Service under the warranty, and I agreed with them. A company called Solid Circle handle the warranty repairs.

    I glad to say that no more appeared, but still there is 2! Not really happy about that.

    So, on Monday 8th August, I started what was to become a long troll and complete disregard for the consumer on what can only be described as a "procedural loop". Never-the-less, one that has left me without ANY help.

    Monday 9/8

    Phoned Solid Circle on 01794 500800. Engaged. Tried 25 times, no answer

    Tuesday 10/8

    Tried Solid Circle again. Phones might of been down on Monday. Still Engaged. Tried as early as 8am and as late as 9pm, still no answer

    Wednesday 11/8

    Tried Solid Circle one last time. Engaged. Looked up Hitachi Digital Products Service line on the web. Phone number 0870 4054405. Pressed option 1. Got to speak to someone. Great.

    He told me that because my model of screen is PMA400E it is not supported by the Consumer part of Hitachi as it is more of a business orientated product. He stated that I needed to speak to Hitachi Tech Products on 01628 643349. I also asked him to confirm the Solid Circle telephone number. He confirmed that it is 01794 500800.

    Phoned Hitachi Tech products at 10:30. Answer machine. Left my details. Give them 24 hrs

    Thursday 12/8

    No answer from Hitachi Tech Products. Phoned up at 10:30 again to leave another message

    Friday 13/8

    No answer from Hitachi Tech Products in 48 hours. Phoned again. Got an answer! Someone picked up the phone! I told him my details. He talked to
    someone in the background. I was then asked if I was a business or a consumer. Told him I'm not a business. Told to speak to the Service People. I told him I was given the Solid Circle number. He said that I should be looking to log a call with Servicecare? , but he didn't know their number. He said I should get the number from my supplier.

    Back to the supplier. Solid Circle have gone bust apparently, so they
    won't be answering their phones. After the supplier rang around, found that
    Service Care actually now support Hitachi Plasma, especially warranty calls.

    I successfully got thru to Service Care first-time!. They said however, that
    because I am not a dealer, they cannot help me because I am a "user", as this comes down to the model of plasma again. WHY?

    Anyway, they said I needed to phone Hitachi Service on 0870 4054405. This
    takes me back to the Domestic Products line again, and effectively back
    into the same loop as last week.

    Anyway, true to form, they can't help me. However after speaking to
    them in more detail, they agreed to send me via email something on the
    dead pixel / warranty issue. Here it is...

    Dear Sir,

    It is not uncommon for a small number of pixels with incorrect brightness on any large Plasma Screen e.g. 2 pixels out of three million would represent
    approximately 0.00006%.

    This would not constitute a malfunction of the
    unit under the terms of the warranty. May I suggest that you contact
    your retailer as any changes under the terms of the warranty would be at
    their sole discretion.


    Clear then? I replied back...

    What I don't understand is that the 42PMA400E has a resolution of 1024x1024, making 1,048,576 pixels in total, resulting in (this case) 2 out of 1,048,576 to be a rate of 0.00019%.

    What isn't clear is what is considered a malfunction under warranty terms? What percentage do I need to be on my model of plasma before service can be called upon? There must be a number or calculation that's used to base this on.


    Hitachi's reply was

    To advise, if there is a calculation to establish if the product should be replaced, as Pixel Failure can not be repaired, this would need to be taken
    up the service agents, however 2 Pixel's out of 1,048,576 I believe
    would still not constitute a malfunction of the unit in line with the warranty
    terms and conditions.

    Regards

    Consumer Affairs Team
    Hitachi (Europe) Ltd


    So its a very cloudy issue, with no real information, and in any case,
    no one at Hitachi or Service Care is interested in helping me out
    anyway. Their last email refers me back to the service agents, of
    which, don't want to know me either.

    While the end result might be the same (i.e. you've got dead pixels and
    its tough!), I thought I would post these "experiences" on the avforums.com site.

    I've been searching for a Complaints address at Hitachi for this type of thing, as I am definately writing in to complain. If anyone does know the address, please drop me a PM or reply. Cheers

    I am so glad I didn't opt for the extended warranty :suicide:
     
  2. andrewmellor

    andrewmellor
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    Have you tried to push the retailer a bit more as you did get told that they do have some discretion as to warranty application? - I also thought that nowadays most retailers would sort out the problem with you and organise any action to be taken by the manufacturer themselves, i.e. replacement or repair?
    I have a fujitsu screen and it does actually quote something like 99.999% of pixels working is 'within tolerance' in the manual, I can check for you if it may help? of course whether them stopping while in service is the same thing.....
    Hope you get something sorted!
     
  3. johndon

    johndon
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    English_Bob,

    You could try this address:

    Customer Services Manager
    Hitachi Europe Ltd
    Lower Cookham Road
    Maidenhead
    Berkshire
    SL6 8YA

    I wrote a letter re the problems I had with a 42PD3000 to the above and within a week my retailer had a call from Hitachi telling him to replace my screen with a new one.

    HTH

    John
     
  4. AngryofMayfair

    AngryofMayfair
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    I have had a 37" Hitachi for 6 weeks and it's just developed it's first dead pixel. It was 100% perfect on receipt. I guess it's a big concern as to how many pixels these things are going to lose over their lifetime - I can live with this one as it's a 'dead' pixel not a hot one and can't be seen from my viewing distance, unless staring at the spot (now I know where it is!) whilst it's surrounded by a solid colour.
    This raises two concerns for me - how many more dead pixels are going to 'develop' and at what point would the panel be considered in need of fixing/replacing under warranty?

    Are your pixels 'hot' or 'dead'? I think I would be far more intolerant to a hot pixel shining away like a beacon in the night....
     
  5. thfccambs

    thfccambs
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    johndon,what was your problem with your plasma?
    I will drop these a letter,thanks for the address. :clap:
     
  6. johndon

    johndon
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    I had very loud transformer buzz (even after two replacements) and the 'grey could' effect on dark screens.

    To be fair to Hitachi, in my case at least, the customer service was excellent as the panel was 9 months old I got a much better result than I expected. They replaced it with a 5300 which exhibits neither of the problems.

    John
     
  7. english_bob

    english_bob
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    Thanks for the replies, and especially the address! I'm (sort of) happy now! :)
     
  8. MPBayless

    MPBayless
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    I have posted on the forum about my buzzing Hitachi before.

    I have had no joy from Hitachi in this matter. They replaced the transformer twice and then stated that the buzzing was within specification and nothing more can be done.

    Digital Direct won't replace the screen because Hitachi state its ok.

    I'm now looking at the small claims court to try and prove that the buzzing is unacceptable.

    To summarise, don't expect much help from Hitachi Customer Services.
     
  9. Elvis

    Elvis
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    Speak to Trading Standards about any problems before you progress to the small claims court. After many lengthy phone calls and letters from myself my TS officer spoke directly to the retailer on my behalf and the matter was then resolved very quickly to my satisfaction.

    The situation MPBayless is in with Digital Direct refusing to replace because Hitachi say the set is 'within tolerances' is very similar to the problem I had with my retailer.
     
  10. MPBayless

    MPBayless
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    The TS have just sent me advice ... the latest being

    'If you can have the TV inspected independently for an independent opinion
    this may be an option. Alternatively, you can speak to the court if you
    decide to pursue a claim, for guidance as to whether the Judge would be
    prepared to listen for themselves.'

    Which TS office did you use so I can get my TS office to speak to them about your problems ?
     
  11. Elvis

    Elvis
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    The officer who dealt with my case was based in Leeds. I explained to him that I thought the retailer was in breach of the Sale of Goods act and he essentially agreed. No retailer is going to go to court for the sake of a few grand when they already know Trading Standards are pointing the finger. At Small Claims court the question they will ask is 'would the average man on the street find this acceptable?' (never mind whether it's within Hitachi's tolerances) if the answer is 'no' then they will find in your favour.

    You're more likely to represent the average man in the street than Hitachi are.
     
  12. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    I aways thought when a warrenty is not usable because the fault is too minor,
    that it's time to make the fault worse. Plasma screens are very suseptable to
    impulse damage, shaking up and down until something stops working looks like
    a good course of action.
     
  13. Elvis

    Elvis
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    That would be fraud :nono:
     
  14. Hicksy

    Hicksy
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    And they could prove it by.....????!

    if they are playing dirty etc etc :D
     
  15. Elvis

    Elvis
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    Surely your conscience would lead you to a life wracked with guilt and shame, the only relief; an early grave.
     

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